MSNBC’s Ali Velshi digs into the legal practice of judge shopping, which has made Amarillo, Texas the epicenter of conservative federal lawsuits.
Plaintiffs in federal suits can, by law, choose the district and division where they would like their case to be tried. In the past, plaintiffs representing more Democratic causes have chosen San Francisco, California, and those representing Republican causes have gone to New Orleans, Louisiana. This practice is called forum shopping.
But now, plaintiffs are getting even more specific, aiming for “single judge divisions” — smaller court systems where they’re guaranteed to get the judge they want, who’ll further their cause. This has turned “forum shopping” into “judge shopping.”
Recently, conservatives’ judge of choice has been Amarillo’s Matthew Kacsmaryk. Kacsmaryk is best known for banning the use FDA-approved Mefipristone, one of widely used two abortion medications. He also ruled that “medical providers across the whole U.S. should be allowed to discriminate against LGBT people,” says Velshi, and he enforced a Trump era remain in Mexico policy.
Now, members of U.S. Congress and the Senate are pushing back on the practice of judge shopping. They — and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan — say one federal judge should not be able to single-handedly overturn federal law.
LISTEN: ALI VELSHI ON JUDGE SHOPPING
WATCH: ALI EXPLAIN WHY CONGRESS IS PUSHING BACK ON JUDGE SHOPPING
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